insulin pump and supplies for t1 diabetics

By funnygirl98 Latest Reply 2014-07-25 18:40:06 -0500
Started 2014-07-22 09:27:57 -0500

I just have a question. What is this insulin pump u all talk about and supplies for it? Is it internal or external? Why I ask is because my step daughter was a t1 diabetic bad one and she was on state insurance and they refused to pay for one and she got severely ill her kidneys started to shut down the whole works. She died 2 yrs ago in the hospital and was a total shock to me and my I am curious how this pump thing works. Thanks for any info on the subject.

12 replies

Type1Lou 2014-07-22 11:51:43 -0500 Report

In simple terms, a pump is a mechanical/programmable device which connects to and delivers insulin to the body. The pump supplies referred to are usually infusions sets (this is what connects to the body) and reservoirs (this is what holds the insulin. Infusion sets and reservoirs must be changed and rotated every 2 to 3 days; frequency depends upon the individual. (I change mine every 3 days.) Pumps use only a fast acting insulin like Novolog or Humalog. A long-acting insulin, like Lantus, is not needed because the pump is programmed to deliver a small amount of insulin throughout the day…this is called "basal" insulin. When a pumper eats, the number of carbohydrates in the meal is entered into the pump and the pump will calculate, based on a programmed carb to insulin ratio and insulin sensitivity factor pre-determined for that individual, how much insulin is needed to handle that meal (this is called "bolus" insulin.) The pumper then directs the pump to deliver that insulin. There are more complex functions that pumps can do, but, in a nutshell, that's what a pump does. There may be age limitations since young ones may need assistance in administering the pump and understanding what needs to be done. I've been pumping since 2011 and find it demands commitment and determination to make it work but the efforts are worthwhile.
I'm sorry about your stepdaughter. Hope this explanation helped.

RebDee 2014-07-22 10:03:10 -0500 Report

I am an insulin pump user and love it. Every two days, I must change all the paraphenalia that goe with the pump itself to deliver the insulin. A small part goes into your stomach (it does not hurt) leaving a long intravenous tube connected to the pump itself to connect somewhere above the point of deliverance in your stomach. Every time you take your BS, you put the number into the pump and also the calculation of the amount of carbs you are going to eat for that particular meal. The pump then figures out how much of a boost of insulin you should get to compensate for the meal. The rest of the time, the pump delivers a steady drip of insulin into your body. It is clean, it is easy, it is fast, it is efficient. The only problem is that it is costly to buy the machine at first but then most insurances will pay for the supplies used every other day to change. I got my pump directly from MedTronics although there are other places that make and sell the pump. I am very happy with my Medtronics pump. Originally I was told that I could get a new one free after 7 years but now I was told that since my pump works perfectly, I can't get a new free one until it finally breaks down. Truthfully, I would like to get the new one because there are some new innovations to it that I think would make my life easier but not for now. I hope that this helps you understand the insulin pump.

jayabee52 2014-07-22 09:41:50 -0500 Report

Howdy FG
Sorry to hear of your step daughter! My kidneys have shut down and I am on dialysis. Seems to me someone dropped the ball there somewhere. In my view she should not have died, especially some one so young.

Here is something from the ADA about insulin pumps ~

Should you desire more information please ask.

God's best to you and yours


funnygirl98 2014-07-22 09:55:16 -0500 Report

ty all for the insight… sounds weird but very helpful… I just wish my step daughter would have had the chance to use one of these.

jayabee52 2014-07-22 09:59:35 -0500 Report

FG Whether or not she would have gotten to use one, there were OTHER ways to prolong her life like dialysis (unless there were factors about which I am unaware). .

Syed Jilani
Syed Jilani 2014-07-22 09:39:29 -0500 Report

The device configuration may vary depending on design. A traditional pump includes:

the pump (including controls, processing module, and batteries)
a disposable reservoir for insulin (inside the pump)
a disposable infusion set, including a cannula for subcutaneous insertion (under the skin) and a tubing system to interface the insulin reservoir to the cannula.
Other configurations are possible. For instance, more recent models may include disposable or semi-disposable designs for the pumping mechanism and may eliminate tubing from the infusion set.

DrJohn 2014-07-22 09:38:38 -0500 Report

Insulin Pumps
Dr. John A. Allocca

One of the best features of an insulin pump is that one's basal insulin can be altered. Insulin pumps have a feature called Temporary Basal whereby basal insulin can be increased or decreased for a period of time. For example, one can decrease basal insulin 10 percent for 2 hours during increased activity, or increase it 10 percent for 2 hours while watching TV. Long-acting insulin cannot be altered once injected, which can lead to more frequent hypoglycemic episodes. There is also a great deal of convenience using an insulin pump in public over injections.

The basic insulin pump uses tubing between the infusion set and the skin, which is becoming outdate with the introduction of more and more tubeless pumps. Skin Tac wipes are recommended to insure good adhesion. Tubing can be more difficult than it seems. This becomes evident when the tubing is snagged by door knobs, cabinet knobs, dogs, and much more, ripping the tubing from the skin causing bleeding, skin ablation, loss of blood, and loss of insulin. Not to mention the embarrassment of blood leaking though clothing in public. Infusion sets use a soft cannula that is inserted below the skin with a needle, which retracts and leaves behind the soft cannula.

Then, there are tubeless pumps, which attach to the skin and wirelessly connect to a remote control. For children the remote control can be held and operated by an adult. A soft cannula is inserted as it is with infusion sets and tubing. Skin Tac wipes are recommended to insure good adhesion. The position for a pod or infusion set is an area with the most fat so the cannula does not touch the muscle and cause pain.

All pump manufactures and distributors provide trainers to teach people how to use their pumps. So, donÕt worry that it may be too complicated.

This author started with a pump with tubing. A short time later began the snagging of tubing and ripping of infusion sets leading to the introduction of the OmniPod. Using a pump with tubing is like carrying around a ball and chain. The new generation or generation II OmniPod is smaller and lighter in weight than the original OmniPod. The OmniPod remote control (PDM) doubles as a glucose meter, which is very handy. The PDM can be programmed for many predetermined functions that save time. The pod is worn discretely under clothing on the arm, thigh, or abdomen. There are alarms that warn of various problems, including when the pod must be changed, making it safe and easy to use.

It is very important to make the right choice at the beginning because insurance companies only allow for a new pump every 4-5 years.

RebDee 2014-07-22 10:19:56 -0500 Report

Your note scared me to death because in 7 years, I have not had any of those terrible things happen to me. I change my pump paraphenalia every two days when I need more insulin to go through my pump. I wear it on my stomach, changing insertion places each time and the tubing extends up to the actual pump which I wear inside my bra between my breasts for comfort and because it does not show. As I said before, my insurance company said I could not get a new pump even though I have had my pump for more than 7 years, because it is working perfectly. The pump does "talk", telling me when the Resevoir is low and I must put in new insulin (which is when I change the paraphenalia), when the battery gets low and I must put in a new AAA battery. That's it in a nut shell. Quick, easy, its under my clothing so my dogs do not dislodge it when they jump on me or sit with me. Hope this is helpful. I heartily recommend the insulin pump.

funnygirl98 2014-07-22 11:32:25 -0500 Report

Jay my step daughter was always severely sick having 1-2 wk hospital stays I know she told me they were putting her on a donor list but she passed away b4 one was available. Ty for all ur insight on the pump now I understand a little bit more about what u all talk about;-)

Syed Jilani
Syed Jilani 2014-07-22 09:35:27 -0500 Report

An insulin pump is an alternative to multiple daily injections of insulin by insulin syringes or an insulin pen and allows for intensive insulin therapy when used in conjunction with blood glucose monitoring and carb counting

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